A brief history of Halloween. Click if you dare!

Posted by Brian Gallagher on October 31, 2014 in Ancestry.com Site, United Kingdom

Halloween is here! Time to dress up and trick or treat, attend bonfires, parties and firework displays, and generally enjoy yourself. Have you ever wondered where these traditions come from? Halloween is a mixed bag of different traditions and customs influenced by diverse religions and cultures. It all began in Ireland’s Celtic past. It was at… Read more

Bring Your Ancestors to Life: Adding Context with Unique Ancestry Collections

Posted by Juliana Szucs on October 30, 2014 in Ancestry.com Site, Collections, Family History Month

Looking at a pedigree chart can be somewhat uninspiring to family members who haven’t yet been bitten with the genealogy bug. We know that those names and dates carry stories, but to really do them justice we need to add context. There are some fantastic resources available on Ancestry that can help us do just… Read more

13 Spooky Family History Finds

Posted by Ancestry.com on October 30, 2014 in Ancestry.com Site, Cool Finds, Holidays

Witches, ghosts, murder—researchers from Ancestry found them all and more when they started combing the headlines for spooky facts in some current, and former, celebrities’ pasts.   Real Witch Found in Emma Watson’sFamily Tree: Muggle actress Emma Watson, famous for playing Hermione Granger, the preternaturally talented witch and ally of Harry Potter, has a real-life… Read more

Ten Free Data Collections to Get You Started With Your Family History

Posted by Anne Gillespie Mitchell on October 29, 2014 in Ancestry.com Site, Collections, Family History Month

Money a little tight?  Are you looking for a free way to get a relative hooked on family history? (Aren’t we all?) Creating trees on Ancestry is always free — you just need to register. Check out these free data collections to help fill in some branches: 1940 US Census: Find one ancestor in here and… Read more

History of Jewish Migration to the United States

Posted by Ancestry.com on October 28, 2014 in Ancestry.com Site, Family History Month

This is a guest post by Gary Mokotoff Jews have been coming to the Americas literally since Columbus discovered America. Luis De Torres, a Jew, was Columbus’ interpreter on his maiden trip. Migration of Jews through the centuries, for the most part, came in waves primarily because of persecution, but also for economic or political… Read more

Tips for Finding Your Ancestors in German Civil Registration Records on Ancestry

Posted by Juliana Szucs on October 27, 2014 in Ancestry.com Site, Collections

Ancestry has just launched more than 11.7 million new German records, the majority of which are birth, marriage, and death records. Initially, registrations of births, marriages, and deaths were kept by religious denominations, but a civil registry modeled on the French system was implemented on 1 October 1874 in Prussian provinces, and throughout the German… Read more

Uncovering a Free Black Man’s Past: Buying a Slave to Unite His Family

Posted by Ancestry.com on October 25, 2014 in Ancestry.com Site, Research

By Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Anne Gillespie Mitchell, Ancestry.com Genealogist “My ancestor, Lewis Freeman, was a free Negro who lived in Chatham, North Carolina from at least 1800 until his death in 1845. I would like to know when he was born.” – Harold F. Dear Harold, When searching for family roots in the… Read more

Happy 350th New Jersey! New State Research Guide for the Garden State

Posted by Juliana Szucs on October 24, 2014 in Ancestry.com Site

This year marks 350 years since New Jersey’s birth as an English colony. To celebrate, our gift to you is the latest in our series of state research guides on the Garden State. Here are five things you might not know about New Jersey. 1. Between 1674 and 1702, New Jersey was divided politically between… Read more

Titanic Captain among those listed as more than one million historic Liverpool crew lists are digitised by Ancestry

Posted by Brian Gallagher on October 24, 2014 in Ancestry.com Site, Collections, Content, United Kingdom

We are all familiar with the ill-fated maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic. On the night of the 14th of April 1912, 1,500 people lost their lives after the liner hit an iceberg and sank to the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. The captain on that tragic voyage was Edward Smith. Smith joined the White Star… Read more

Quaker Migrations Across the Centuries

Posted by Ancestry.com on October 23, 2014 in Ancestry.com Site, Family History Month

This is a guest post by Diane VanSkiver Gagel, M.A.  The Society of Friends (Quakers) was founded in the 1640s in the east midlands of England by George Fox. The Quakers quickly expanded in numbers and geography in England. By 1655, Quakers were immigrating to the English colonies in America, partly through religious zeal to… Read more